Flores after floresiensis: Implications of local reaction to recent palaeoanthropological discoveries on an eastern Indonesian island

in Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia
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In a recent article (Forth 2005) I discussed possible implications for several sorts of anthropology of the discovery, on the eastern Indonesian island of Flores, of skeletal remains interpreted as a new species of Homo – Homo floresiensis. The discovery was, and remains, controversial, not least because the creature so classified, interpreted by the discovery team as an endemic dwarf descendant of Homo erectus, stood just over a metre tall and had a cranial capacity of just 380 cc, thus a brain about the size of a chimpanzee’s. It had also survived until at least 12,000 BP , well within the period modern humans (Homo sapiens) were present in this part of Indonesia (Brown et al. 2004; Morwood et al. 2004).

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